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Fritillaria pudica (Yellow fritillary)
Glase, Terry

Fritillaria pudica

Fritillaria pudica (Pursh) Spreng.

Yellow Fritillary, Yellow Missionbells, Golden Bells

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s): Lilium pudicum, Ochrocodon pudicus

USDA Symbol: FRPU2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The stem of yellow missionbells or yellow fritillary grows 1 ft. high and is a dainty bearer of a clear yellow, hanging, bell-like flower. This dainty little plant has 1 yellow, narrowly bell-shaped flower hanging at the top of the flower stalk. There may be a pair or a whorl of linear leaves subtending the solitary (sometime 2-3 in a group) flower. The flower fades to red or purple.

A charming, modest Lily that can be mistaken for no other; the narrow yellow bell becomes rusty red or purplish as the flower ages.


From the Image Gallery

14 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: CA , CO , ID , MT , ND , NM , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC
Native Distribution: S. B.C. to n. CA (e. of the Cascades), e. to s.w. Alt., WY & UT; also historically near Mandan, ND
Native Habitat: Grasslands; sagebrush desert; ponderosa or mixed conifer forests

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Golden bells can not be grown successfully out of its range. In the garden, fritillaries are often finicky, the bulbs are eaten by gophers, and the foliage is devoured by snails and slugs. In addition, plants often take a year or two off from flowering, making only a single, broad, tongue-shaped basal leaf during those times. To assure good flowering, one needs a colony of several bulbs.


Use Wildlife: Bear and rodents eat the bulbs. Deer and other grazers eat the leaves and seed pods.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Fritillaria pudica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Fritillaria pudica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Fritillaria pudica


Record Modified: 2013-06-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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